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“The challenge I have set myself is to keep the Maglia Rosa until the individual time trial, so I’ll ride tomorrow’s stage like a one-day Classic. I won’t ride the time trial to defend the Maglia Rosa."

Photo: RCS Sport

GIRO D'ITALIA

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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LUCA PAOLINI

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09.05.2013 @ 19:38 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Luca Paolini (Katusha) maintained his Maglia Rosa on the 6th stage of the Giro d’Italia today as his team managed to keep him out of trouble when yet another crash marred the race.


“5 minutes before the fall Katusha decided to move to the front to keep the Maglia Rosa out of trouble,” Paolini explained. “Then we were told that there had been a fall, and we slowed down. I found myself near the front together with other riders who are high in GC, and we took it easy to let the others rejoin the group.”

Talking about one of his main rivals, Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky, Paolini said: “When everyone wants to be in the front it’s a problem for everyone, including Wiggins. But I think these are intermediate stages for the big contenders. I have seen him pedalling very well. On the climb before Matera, his pedal stroke was excellent, so I think he’s in great condition.”

Paolini also found time to look forward to the coming days of the race, saying he expects to lose the leader’s jersey in Saturday’s individual time trial. “The challenge I have set myself is to keep the Maglia Rosa until the individual time trial, so I’ll ride tomorrow’s stage like a one-day Classic. I won’t ride the time trial to defend the Maglia Rosa. It would be a bit embarrassing, because the ITT specialists would have a thing or two say about my pedal stroke and position on the bike! But 50 very hard kilometres, riding alone in front of the fans, will be a memorable way of saying goodbye to the Maglia Rosa.”

Regarding his tactics after the individual time trial, Paolini said he hoped to win a second Giro stage in this year’s edition of the race. “My team-mates Yuri Trofimov and Giampaolo Caruso will ride to stay in the top 10 of the general classification. As for me, I’ll go back to doing what I had to do before: trying to win another stage. I’m in good condition, so I’ll just try to get through the stages that don’t suit me, and I’ll try to win one of the ones that do.”

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